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Ketamine Therapy: A New Hope for Migraine Relief

Thumbnail Image of Ketamine Therapy_ A New Hope for Migraine Relief by Avesta

Migraines are more than just headaches; they are a complex neurological condition that can severely impact the quality of life of those affected. Traditional treatments often come with limitations and side effects, leaving many to seek alternative therapies. Ketamine, a medication initially used for anesthesia, has emerged as a potential new treatment for migraines, offering hope to those who have not found relief elsewhere. In this article, we will learn how Ketamine therapy works and how it may relieve migraine.

Understanding Migraines: Symptoms, Triggers, and Traditional Treatments

Migraines are complex neurological conditions that cause moderate to severe headaches, often accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. It’s estimated that migraines affect around 1 billion people worldwide.

Here is a summary of the symptoms, triggers, and conventional treatments for migraines:


  • Moderate to severe throbbing or pulsating pain in the head, usually on one side
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia)
  • Aura, which is a warning sign that a migraine is coming and can include visual disturbances, tingling sensations, or difficulty speaking


The exact cause of migraines is unknown, but several factors can trigger them, including:

  • Stress
  • Hormone changes in women, such as those that occur during menstruation or menopause
  • Certain foods and drinks, such as caffeine, alcohol, aged cheese, and processed foods
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Weather changes
  • Medications
  • Sensory triggers, such as bright lights, loud noises, or strong smells

Traditional Treatments

There is no cure for migraines, but there are several treatments that can help to prevent or reduce the severity of attacks. These include:

Medications: Several medications can be used to treat migraines, including pain relievers, triptans, and beta-blockers. The type of medication that is most effective will vary depending on the individual.

Lifestyle changes: Making lifestyle changes, such as getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and managing stress, can help to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.

Alternative therapies: Some people find that alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, massage, and relaxation techniques, can help relieve migraine symptoms.

At Avesta Ketamine & Wellness, we offer therapy as a new option for those who have not responded to conventional treatments or are seeking alternative approaches.

What is ketamine, and how does it work?

Ketamine was initially developed as an anesthesia drug in the 1960s, and it is still used for that purpose today. However, in the late 1990s, researchers discovered that ketamine has a unique ability to rapidly improve mood and reduce suicidal thoughts in people with treatment-resistant depression. Since then, ketamine has been studied for its potential to treat various mental health conditions, such as anxiety disorders, PTSD, OCD, and addiction.

Ketamine treats several neurotransmitters in the brain, such as glutamate, serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. Ketamine operates on the brain’s N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, helping restore neural pathways and grow new synapses in brain areas affected by mood disorders. Ketamine may also influence the Default Mode Network (DMN) of the brain, a group of interconnected brain regions that help process conscious awareness. Ketamine may reduce activity in the DMN, slowing mental chatter, so a person can dive below the surface to explore the unconscious mind in greater detail.

Ketamine Therapy for Migraine

Ketamine therapy for migraines typically involves intravenous infusion of the drug in a controlled medical setting. During the infusion, patients are closely monitored for any adverse effects. The duration and frequency of ketamine treatments can vary depending on the individual’s response and the severity of their migraines.

Studies suggest a connection between stress and changes in glutamate transmission, which affects conditions like depression and chronic pain disorders, including migraines. Stress triggers glutamate release in different brain regions, impacting brain structure and function.

Research indicates the involvement of NMDA receptors in migraine development, suggesting altered brain excitability. Increased glutamate levels have been observed in people with migraines, and certain migraine medications have been shown to reduce these levels. Glutamate is also linked to cortical spreading depolarization, thought to underlie migraine aura. Inhibiting glutamate receptors may help prevent this process.

A 2020 study shows that interest in ketamine to treat migraine has increased, as evidenced by recent studies evaluating its use in the Emergency Department. Another study published in the Journal of Headache and Pain reported similar findings, with patients experiencing improvements in migraine symptoms after ketamine treatment.

Ketamine Therapy vs. Other Treatments for Migraine

When comparing ketamine therapy to traditional migraine treatments, several factors come into play. While conventional medications may provide relief for some individuals, they may not be effective for everyone and can cause unwanted side effects. Ketamine therapy offers a new option for those who have not responded to conventional treatments or are seeking alternative approaches.

Cost-effectiveness and accessibility are also important considerations. While ketamine therapy may initially seem more expensive than oral medications, its potential to provide long-lasting relief with fewer treatment sessions could ultimately make it a cost-effective option for some patients. It’s essential to consult your doctor and receive a proper diagnosis to determine if it’s viable.

We can help you get Migraine Relief!

Ketamine therapy offers a ray of hope as a new approach to managing pain. It has been shown to bring rapid and long-lasting relief, offering a promising option for those battling migraines. At Avesta Ketamine and Wellness, we are committed to providing compassionate support and effective treatments for individuals coping with chronic pain and mood disorders. If you or a loved one are seeking relief from migraines, we invite you to explore the potential of ketamine therapy with our caring and experienced medical team.

Contact Avesta Ketamine and Wellness today to take the next step toward relief. Consult with our experienced practitioners to begin your journey towards a brighter future. Start your path to healing today!

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